We still do not know what the federal estate tax will be in 2018, and this has consequences not only at the federal level, but also at the local or state level. This is because the D.C. Council and Maryland General Assembly have explicitly tied their respective taxes levied on personal estates to the federal exemption, taking effect in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Absent changes to federal law, in 2018, the District of Columbia will exempt $5.49 million from the local estate tax (or about $11 million for couples who file the right paperwork), effectively repealing the tax for most people.
However, if the federal government increases the exemption or gets rid of the federal version of the tax completely, this will have implications for District of Columbia law. For example, if the federal exemption were to double or triple, the same would happen to D.C.'s exemption.
Following suit, Maryland will increase its exemption to $4 million in 2018 and then plateau at $5.49 million in 2019, assuming no changes to federal law. But like D.C., Maryland's 2019 rates could be influenced by choices made within coming months by Congress.
For the remainder of 2017, D.C. will continue to tax estates with a gross value of more than $2 million and in Maryland the exemption is $3 million.
Laws and budgets can change. So, please always make sure your information is current before making any decisions.